The History of Shirts

MAY – 2024 30 MINS READ

The history of the dress shirt is closely linked to the evolution of human clothing over thousands of years. In ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome, simple tunics and robes, which can be considered the prototypes of modern shirts, were standard attire for men. These garments were primarily made of linen and flax, emphasizing comfort and functionality.In medieval Europe, shirts were mainly worn as undergarments, serving the purpose of protecting the skin. The shirts of this era were simple, often made of linen, with long sleeves and a loose fit. During the 16th and 17th centuries, shirts began to feature more decoration, including embroidery and lace. During this period, shirts started to serve as status symbols for the upper classes.From the late 18th century to the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution brought significant changes to shirt manufacturing. With the advent of machine weaving, shirts became more affordable and could be produced in large quantities, making them accessible to a broader range of social classes. By the 19th century, the dress shirt as we know it today began to take shape, with particular refinement in the design of collars and cuffs. During this period, the shirt became an essential element of one’s appearance, integral to the suit.

Subsequently, during the Roman Empire, shirts known as tunica became widespread. In medieval Europe, while maintaining their basic shape, shirts became more elaborate with richer decorations and materials. Particularly, the dress shirt evolved through various social and cultural transformations over the centuries into the refined style we see today.During the Renaissance in the 16th century, dress shirts adorned with luxurious embroidery and lace became fashionable among the nobility. By the 19th century, influenced by the Victorian era, the modern dress shirt’s design began to take shape. Today, dress shirts are widely recognized as essential items for business and formal occasions.This site explores the evolution of the shirt, detailing historical styles such as the Greek tunic, the Roman tunica, and the ruff, leading up to the modern dress shirt. Additionally, we will delve into the design, materials, and occasions for wearing shirts across different eras, showcasing how the shirt has developed into its current form. By tracing this history, you will gain a deeper understanding of the cultural background and fashion changes embedded in the shirt.

ドレスシャツの歴史は、数千年にわたる人類の衣服の進化と密接に関連しています。古代エジプトやギリシャ、ローマの文明では、シャツの原型となるような簡素なチュニックやローブが男性の標準的な衣服として用いられていました。これらの衣服は、主に麻やリネンで作られ、快適さと機能性が重視されました。中世ヨーロッパでは、シャツは主に下着として着用され、直接肌に触れる部分を保護する役割を果たしていました。この時代のシャツはシンプルで、しばしばリネンで作られ、袖が長く、体にフィットするものではありませんでした。16世紀から17世紀にかけて、シャツは次第に装飾が施され、刺繍やレースが追加されるようになりました。この時期、シャツは上流階級のステータスシンボルとしての役割を持ち始めました。18世紀後半から19世紀にかけて、産業革命が進展する中で、シャツの製造も大きな変革を迎えました。機械織りの普及により、シャツはより手頃な価格で大量生産されるようになり、幅広い社会層に普及しました。19世紀には、現在のドレスシャツに近い形が確立され、特にカラー(襟)とカフス(袖口)のデザインが洗練されました。この時期、シャツは外見上の重要な要素となり、スーツの一部として欠かせないものとなりました。 本サイトでは、シャツの進化の過程を探り、ギリシアのチュニックやローマのトニカ、そしてラフといった歴史的なスタイルから、現代のドレスシャツまでを詳しく解説していきます。さらに、各時代のシャツのデザインや素材、着用される場面についても詳しく取り上げ、シャツがどのようにして現在の形に至ったのかを紹介します。歴史を辿ることで、シャツに込められた文化的背景やファッションの変遷をより深く理解していただけることでしょう。
Ancient : 古代
Ancient Egypt : 3100 BC – 30 BC
Ancient Greece : 800 BC – 146 BC
Ancient Rome : 753 BC – 476 AD
The origin of the shirt can be traced back to the ancient Egyptian shendyt and the ancient Greek chiton. These garments eventually made their way to Rome and became known as the tunica. The tunica was made by sewing two pieces of fabric together, creating a garment with a slit for the head. It was worn by figures such as Caesar and members of the Senate. Nobles wore longer tunicas, while common citizens wore knee-length ones, both typically secured with a belt. Over time, simple sleeves were added, and the tunica, with minimal ornamentation, was carried into the Middle Ages.